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French hospital ordered to pay Jehovah’s Witness over transfusion

A French court has ruled a hospital must compensate a Jehovah’s Witness after staff administered a blood transfusion which the patient had explicitly refused

The lady had three blood transfusions, the first two were deemed acceptable by the court but the third was not Pic: SebGross / Shutterstock

A Jehovah’s Witness has won a court case against a hospital that gave her a blood transfusion against her wishes. 

The CHU university hospital in Bordeaux must pay €4,000 to her following the procedure which took place in 2016. 

The woman had asked for €30,000. 

The patient was hospitalised for a gallbladder removal, but complications resulted in life-threatening bleeding and the medical staff administered two blood transfusions, even though she had previously said that this went against her religious convictions. 

The Administrative Court of Appeal found no wrongdoing at this stage, as “respecting the patient’s wishes would have put her life in danger, and as she was unconscious, she was not able to reiterate her refusal in a reasonable timeframe”. 

However, a third transfusion took place after the patient regained consciousness and repeated her refusal when staff explained the consequences, which the court ruled contravened Article L1111-4 of the Public Health Code

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